The Texas Rangers (95-66) might have only one game left in the regular season, but there is still plenty to be determined with regards to the American League playoffs. A Rangers win tonight in Anaheim against the Angels (86-75) not only gives Texas their best regular season record in club history, but it also means the Rangers will open the Division Series at home on Friday. A Detroit Tigers loss at home tonight to Cleveland would also mean the Rangers would have home-field advantage in the first round.
There is still a distinct possibility that even after game 162 is played tonight, the Rangers will not know who their ALDS opponent will be. If the Rangers finish with a better record than the Tigers, they will host the wild-card winner, either Boston or Tampa Bay. However, the Red Sox and Rays are both tied at 90-71 heading into tonight’s games. If these two teams are still tied after tonight, there will be a one-game playoff tomorrow afternoon in Tampa Bay.
The other scenario that could happen would be the Rangers opening up the playoffs Friday night in New York against the Yankees. The way in which this scenario would occur would be if the Tigers win tonight and the Rangers lose to the Angels. Detroit and Texas would then both finish 95-67 and the Tigers would gain home-field due to their better head-to-head record against the Rangers.
The Rangers are on a tear lately, winners of five in a row and 13 out of 15. In September the Rangers have a record of 18-6. They seem to be gaining momentum at just the right time heading into the postseason.
Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.46) will toe the rubber for the Rangers tonight while the Angels will counter with Garrett Richards (0-2, 8.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM CT with coverage locally on FSSW and 103.3 ESPN Radio.